#Human Rights
United States Congress
United States of America

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In a given year 3.5 million Americans will experience homelessness. 800,000 men, women, and children are homeless each night in this nation.

The homeless population is 49% African-American, 35% Caucasian, 13% Hispanic, 2% Native American, and 1% Asian. 40% of the male homeless population is veterans. About 16% of the homeless in the U.S. have severe chronic mental illness. From the 1960's to the early 1980's, 367,000 patients were released from mental institutions, and ended up homeless for lack of having anywhere to go.

About 26% of the homeless population suffers from some form of drug or alchohol abuse. The National Coalition for the Homeless found in 2001 that 42%of the homeless population are employed by day labor agencies, characterized by low pay,no health insurance,no job security and inadequate worker protections.

The federal government says affordable housing should be no more than 30% of a person's income. In 1999, the national two-bedroom housing wage was $11.08: in 2006, the national housing wage was 16.31, a 47% increase. The lack of affordable housing is widely considered to be the main cause of homelessness in the United States today.

We, the undersigned, call on the United States Congress to designate one day of the year to National Homeless Awareness Day.

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The National Homeless Awareness Day petition to United States Congress was written by phyllis harrison and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.